March 2013 Hardcover
Austin Ratner, In the Land of the Living: A Novel
Isidore is a brilliant young man, driven in equal measure by grief at his young mother’s death, rage at his distant, abusive father, and his own fierce ambitions. When Isidore becomes a doctor, and a father himself, the cycle of grief continues, and soon it is his son Leo who is left behind too young, also grown to be a doctor. The story becomes Leo’s, an alternately heartbreaking and hilarious account of his cross-country road trip with his younger brother as they try to understand their family, their relationship, and their own futures. An appealingly oddball character, angry at the world but angrier at himself, Leo yearns for love and simple satisfaction. Through his eyes we see the power of family to both destroy and create, and the price and rewards of independence.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Austin Ratner’s first novel, The Jump Artist, was the 2011 winner of the Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize in Fiction. He attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Before turning his focus to writing he received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and he is co-author of the textbook Concepts in Medical Physiology. He is Clinical Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. He grew up in Cleveland, OH, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and two sons.
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